The Opera Theatre of Yale College stands in solidarity with the Black community following the brutal murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless others. We strongly support the ongoing protests across the world and those who are working to break systemic and racist patterns of police brutality and anti-Black violence. Black lives matter.
OTYC has reflected both on our failures and on our values. We have long failed to program the work of Black composers, and the upcoming season we had originally planned was no different. We have been complicit in racism in performance art, and this is unacceptable. We promise to break cycles of exclusion, and to modify our repertoire selections for this and future seasons. We pledge to prioritize diversity of experiences and voices in future programming.
In our next election cycle, we will introduce two new board positions: Diversity Chair and Community Outreach Chair. The Diversity Chair will be responsible for maintaining diversity in casting and programming. They will organize and deliver an annual seminar surrounding anti-racist theater methods, which will be mandatory for the OTYC board and open to the Yale community. The Community Outreach Chair will be responsible for creating and curating educational resources such as pre-concert talks and partnerships with local schools.
While we are committed to sustained action, we know that these actions can never right the wrongs we have perpetrated in the past; they are just the beginning of a long conversation about how OTYC can and will do better.
Yours in solidarity,
The Opera Theatre of Yale College
The Opera Theater of Yale College, Yale’s only student-run undergraduate opera organization, is now in its twenty-first season. Founded in the fall of 1998, its initial production of Handel’s Julius Caesar, which was fully-staged and sung in Italian, drew great critical acclaim. Since, OTYC has expanded and grown.
OTYC is entirely student-run, and designed to provide undergraduates at Yale College with opportunities to choose repertoire, produce, direct, design, and perform. Our members are singers, instrumentalists, conductors, theatre technicians, costume and set designers, choreographers, and dancers. OTYC is governed by a board of students who have varying backgrounds and experiences, but who are committed to making opera fun and accessible to everyone.
Our seasons reflect our growing organization. We perform around four operas each academic year, three of which are accompanied by an orchestra with full set and costume. Our repertoire spans a wide range of languages and styles, from baroque to contemporary.
We are committed to bringing creative, thoughtful, and innovative opera productions to the Yale and New Haven communities. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming performances!
Here is OTYC’s official conflict reporting form, where you can anonymously register complaints and report conflicts related to any OTYC event, communication, or production.
Additionally, here is a link with information regarding Yale’s Title IX compliance and contacts.